Defence Innovation Culture

Client – High-Tech Defence Engineering Company


Brief – The Technical Director of a defence engineering business had become increasingly concerned that the strong focus on development programme delivery that had been imperative over recent years had had the unintended consequence of reducing the time and space necessary for the engineering community to be truly innovative. He wanted to work with his stakeholders to: Recapture the spirit of innovation that had made engineering of complex products “fun”; 
Engage a wide cross section of key staff from not only Engineering, but also from Contracts, Operations and Project Management; 
Re-kindle the culture of innovation within the business to generate a wide engagement from many staff in identifying and exploiting innovative ideas.


Contribution – Vee Solutions contribution was to:


  • Support the planning of a series of innovation culture workshops by establishing clear objectives for each workshop and developing a detailed plan for how each workshop was to unfold;
  • Work with the Technical Director and other key Thales staff to generate the supporting briefing materials for the workshop and to identify the specific activities needed to stimulate the workshop participants’ thought processes;
  • Review all workshop materials prior to workshop delivery;
  • Support several face-to-face planning sessions to ensure smooth delivery of the workshop sessions.
  • Facilitate two, very intense workshops, that identified the barriers to innovation in the business and derived action plans to overcome the barriers;
  • Ensure that the focus on this activity did not get lost amongst the ongoing pressures of the “day job”.


Outcome – Two innovation culture workshops were conducted that attracted over 15 attendees to each session and generated huge interest from within the business – many more people wanted to be involved that could be accommodated, in effect leading to a waiting list of participants.


The workshops generated such a high level of interest that several individuals spontaneously took it upon themselves to initiate and deliver “quick win” actions in line with the emerging strategy.


A substantial number of the workshop participants declared that despite initial scepticism the two workshops had delivered much more than expected results.

The local business unit attracted considerable attention from the corporate HQ R&D function who asked for input on the innovation culture activity. The business now has several new ‘incubator’ projects underway as a direct result of this initiative.